Landlords in New Jersey appreciate the expeditious manner in which their eviction actions are processed, especially in cases where the actions are based upon non-payment of rent. Eviction actions, however, can only be filed on behalf of a landlord, to remove their tenants, and the cohabitants of their tenants. Put more simply, eviction actions cannot be filed to remove persons who never had a lease (oral or written) and were never required to pay any rent. In order to remove those occupants where no landlord tenant relationship ever existed, we must file an Ejectment action.
Historically, ejectment actions were cognizable only as plenary hearings in Law Division (or Chancery Division in cases where the occupant was a former owner) and accordingly, they generally took more than a year to reach trial. However, due to recent Court rule changes, an Ejectment Action can now be filed as a summary proceeding in the Special Civil Part and will be scheduled for trial within a few weeks of the date on which it was filed. Once a Judgment is entered against the occupants, the Plaintiff can obtain a Writ of Possession from the Court and serve a copy of that Writ of Possession to the County Sheriff for execution of the Writ (i.e.; the lockout of the occupants).
Since the amended Court rule was adopted, our office has filed hundreds of ejectment actions, with the overwhelming majority of those actions resulting in the lockout of the unauthorized occupants. Most of our Ejectment Actions have involved the removal of a prior owner following the sale of a foreclosure and bank sale of a property to our clients. However, some of our Ejectments have involved the removal of family members or friends who may have overstayed their welcome at a property. These types of Ejectment matters can be particularly contentious. However, we have found that all types of Ejectments, whether they involve the removal of a family member or whether they involve the removal of a former owner, tend to be vigorously contested, especially as it gets close to the date when the lockout is scheduled to occur. In a recent article, we have detailed the lengths that one family went to in the failed attempt to stop an Ejectment from occurring, as well as the way that our firm was able to successfully defeat the efforts of those occupants and force an immediate lockout. For more information about filing Ejectment actions, please call our office for a consultation.